The Third Prong: Solar Radiation Management as a Climate Intervention
Exploring the potential of solar geoengineering in mitigating climate change risks
For three decades, climate policy proposals have focused on a single approach: reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO₂) and other greenhouse gases. Since 1990, however, global CO₂ emissions have increased 60 percent, atmospheric CO₂ concentrations have raced past 400 parts per million, and temperatures increased at an accelerating rate.
On Thursday, June 4, 2020, RFF hosted a webinar featuring Joseph E. Aldy and Richard Zeckhauser, both scholars at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. They discussed their recent research evaluating a three-pronged strategy for mitigating climate change risks: adding adaptation and amelioration—through solar radiation management (SRM)—to the emissions mitigation approach. This RFF Live event featured a discussion on SRM’s potential role in offsetting warming at low cost, and also assessed the concern that SRM would diminish traditional emissions mitigation incentives.
With this Common Resources Q&A blog post, Aldy and Zeckhauser answer the questions about solar radiation management that attendees asked at this event. These questions could not be addressed live, due to time constraints. Some questions have been edited for clarity and length.
- Joseph E. Aldy, University Fellow, Resources for the Future
- Richard Zeckhauser, Professor of Political Economy, Harvard Kennedy School
Additional Event Resources
Working Paper — Apr 20, 2020
Three Prongs for Prudent Climate Policy
An evaluation of a three-pronged strategy for mitigating climate change risks that emphasizes adding adaptation and amelioration to the emission mitigation approach.
Journal Article — Jun 27, 2022
Accounting for Ecosystem Service Values in Climate Policy
In a comment for Nature Climate Change, RFF Fellow Hannah Druckenmiller reflects on the need to incorporate the ecosystem impacts of climate change into the social cost of carbon.
Working Paper — Jun 23, 2022
Rising US Income Inequality and Declining Residential Electricity Consumption: Is There a Link?
This paper examines the effects of rising income inequality on residential electricity use, finding that climate and air quality improvements valued at $3.14 billion in 2020 due to lower electricity consumption.